Gabe over at Macdrifter:
It’s called an acknowledgement. It’s not just about having good manners. It’s about establishing a shared perception of reality. I sent you freaking electrons through a five-thousand miles of wire and air and I’d like to assume they made it, but I can’t. The “thanks” email works for me.
Personally, unsurprisingly, I hate the “thanks” emails. There is a time and place when you need confirmation that an email was received — I do that by adding a small bit of text at the end of the message: “please confirm receipt of this document/email/whatever”. Otherwise I expect — hope — that I get no response to most emails that don’t otherwise contain that bit of text, or a question.
Likewise I only respond to emails that absolutely require it — the last thing I ever want to do is fill up an already full inbox with an email that says “thanks.” It’s nice, but it’s also pointless most of the time. So please, don’t send me these emails and I won’t send them to you.